There have been countless comparisons between the Civil War of the 1860’s and the experience that Americans are enduring in 2020, as racial issues are once again inexorably intertwined with the world of American politics.
In 2020, however, the revolutionary spirit has remained largely symbolic. There hasn’t yet been an entire state chomping at the bit to secede from the Union, but that’s not to say that there aren’t some pockets of rebellion that are heading in that direction.
In fact, one small area of Seattle, just a few city blocks in size, has now declared itself an “autonomous zone” after driving out local police and authorities.
Hundreds of protesters, aided by a sympathetic City Council member, stormed Seattle’s City Hall Tuesday night to demand the mayor’s resignation, just days after seizing a six-block downtown zone that includes a shuttered police precinct.
Demonstrators remained peaceful, without reports of violence or injuries, but are pushing Mayor Jenny Durkan to step down if she refuses to defund the city’s police department.
And what of this “autonomous zone”?
The protesters continued to camp out in a self-declared “Capitol Hill Autonomous Zone” (CHAZ)– a region spanning six blocks and encompassing the precinct– which has effectively been abandoned by law enforcement after the Seattle Police Department closed the East Precinct on Monday.
Photos from the scene are downright dystopian:
It’s official. Seattle’s Capital Hill neighborhood is calling itself the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone. The police of the 13th precinct have left. #CapitolHill #seattleprotest #SeattleAutonomousZone #Seattle pic.twitter.com/rvxiOGtIQM
— Chris Schetzle #BlackLivesMatter (@Brightwyrm) June 10, 2020
— N M N . (@NoMan_Music) June 10, 2020
Seattle East Police Precinct now a “Capital Hill Autonomous” zone.
~ Having the freedom to govern itself or control its own affairs. pic.twitter.com/7b2rJTdaMr
— Travis McIntosh (@mcintosh160) June 10, 2020
There’s no telling just how long the Capital Hill Autonomous Zone will remain in Seattle.
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